Architecture Competition MICROHOME 2019 Honorable mention - Michael Salka, Julianna Carmona, Elisabet Fabrega and Kevin Matar

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “MICROHOME 2019” competition - Michael Salka, Julianna Carmona, Elisabet Fabrega and Kevin Matar from Spain!

MH Honorable mention from Spain

Michael Salka and Julianna Carmona

MH Honorable mention from Spain

Elisabet Fabrega and Kevin Matar 

The Niu Haus is the collaborative thesis project of the first ever Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings program at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s Valldaura Labs. 19 students from 10 different countries completed the design and construction of the Niu Haus in 8 weeks, primarily using fully-traceable wood from the surrounding forest and featuring self-sufficient electrical, water, waste and heating/cooling systems.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Valldaura Labs is a facility for exploring self-sufficiency located in the 8,000 hectare forest of the Collserola Natural Park in the center of the Barcelona metro region. Valldaura Labs investigates innovations in the value chain of wood as a sustainable building material, of the production of food via aquaponics, mixed farming, agro-forestry and other permaculture techniques, of the production of energy without fossil fuels, of ecological architecture and of the development of biocities.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architecture is the ethics of the built environment, thus the contemporary architect is tasked with leveraging the unprecedented potential of communications technologies, big data, remote sensing and parametric design to address the unprecedented challenges of mass urbanization, globalization and climate change. Accordingly, the architect must exceed the role of a designer by serving as a link between disciplines as various as engineering, art, economics, ecology, biology, agriculture, psychology, politics, activism and beyond.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture competitions because if we only design what people already have or already want, nothing new will emerge, and we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

The greatest challenges demand the greatest creativity in their solutions. Yet, when great consequences are at stake, creativity is limited by the natural and healthy fear of failure. Architecture competitions expand our creative range by offering the opportunity to propose solutions to any problem, whether serious or whimsical, with the same degree of expressive and intellectual freedom.

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